Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  June 20, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT

7:00 am
his trip to afghanistan. following that, the chief counsel of the judicial crisis network and what her organization is a plot -- opposed to the l.a.klena kagan nomination. "washington journal" is next. 3 . .
7:01 am
>> up colorado and "the washington post" at says -- you have seen the stimulus. now meet the anti-stimulus. -- a column in "the washington post" says, you seen the stimulus. now meet the anti-stimulus. the story continues inside the business section. "unlike the federal government, 49 of 50 states must balance their budgets. the exception is a vermont. when the economy crash, they went down with it. revenue dried up because residents lost jobs. expenses went up because unemployed people needed help. three years in, they are all against the wall, and because they cannot turn deficits over
7:02 am
until their economies improve they are cutting services and raising taxes. using the data for 2009 and projecting for 2011 and 2012, the center on budget and policy priorities expect the state shortfall to it reached -- to reach $610 billion. the federal stimulus money wealthy in that dramatically this year. with unemployment sitting at 9.7%, we are not in any shape to let the federal stimulus peter out. that means the federal grant has to step in with aid for states. the obama administration has asked for $50 billion for 2011. but experts say they need twice that. the trick is to do not want to reward bad budget practices under the cover of mitigating and economic disaster. all things being equal, a
7:03 am
fiscally responsible state would get less than a fiscally irresponsible state." he says "if you tied the aid to payroll data, you could partial toward the states to did not save for a rainy day. state and local aid happens to be uncommonly effective for a stimulus. the difficulty with most stimulus spending is that all tickets spent -- not all of it gets spent." the chief economist for moody's estimates that cutting the tax rate for corporations get to only 32 cents and stimulus for every dollar you spend. for every dollar on state aid, you get $1.41. let me give you the phone
7:04 am
numbers. republicans -- 202-737-0001. democrats -- 202-737-0002. and independents -- 202-628- 0205. the senate was working on legislation that included unemployment benefits, a fix for medicare rates for doctors, and they left town only addressing the doc fix for doctors that see medicare patients. included in that bill was $24 billion in medicaid money to help states balance their budgets and $23 billion more to prevent layoffs at a local school districts. the senate comes back and is slated to address those issues, including unemployment benefits. we want to hear from you about whether or not you think the federal government should even be providing aid to states. scranton, pennsylvania. republican line. good morning.
7:05 am
caller: i think people need the help, should get the help, but i think there are a lot of people out there on unemployment and are not even trying to get jobs. i know for affect people call in, and they get very disappointed after collecting for 2.5 years, they have to go out and get a job. i think they need help, and we should give it to them. but i think they should go out there and look for jobs appear. host: the state provides unemployment benefits for 26 weeks. the federal government is working on an extension of those benefits and that aid would go to the states so they can provide benefits. do you agree with that? caller: if they really needed, yes. i know someone who works of the unemployment office. there are people who have not worked for years. they are just carrying it too far. they need to look for work
7:06 am
. host: what about the people who say, i am looking for a job. i just cannot find them. for every dollar you put in for unemployment benefits, you get $1 plus back and stimulus. caller: there are cases where there are people out there to look for jobs and because they are not making any were close to $20 per hour, they will not even look at them. it is work. you need work, you work. i lost my job a few years back. my place moved overseas. i went and found a new job and i worked my way back. people have to do that. host: we will go to memphis, tennessee. brenda on the democratic line. good morning. caller: i think they should provide aid to the states that are not -- that do not have the what do you call it, the people call the tea partiers, the red
7:07 am
states. i live in tennessee, and we are considered one of those red states. i think it is totally monotonous the way we have a republican down here by the way of marsha blackburn who is against everything. i feel like she is putting of cramp on a the state of tennessee in memphis. some states should be provided aid, and i love nancy pelosi and i want to send it a shoout out. host: jason on the independent lines. good morning. so what do think this morning? caller: i think the stimulus is a very good idea. i think the president is using the right approach in trying to mediate a pro -- immediate a problem with the economy. it will be uphill battle
7:08 am
regarding recovery. the nation is starting to recover from the recession, starting last september, according to alan greenspan. i remember observing that report. and it came out of it -- the state came out of the recession back in january. the recovery phase will be awhile for us, but president obama did warn the nation that 2009 will be the year we commence recovery proceedings with a stimulus at. the first few months will be painful, the second six months will be very painful, then there will be six months to a year of an uncomfortable period. we are staying on course regarding the fact is -- the fact is, i cannot account for all of new england being out of the recession, but massachusetts is. and i really think we will reap
7:09 am
some political and economic changes, i think. we are at unemployment for 9%, but we have added about 16,000 jobs in massachusetts. host: to you know what industry most of those jobs came from? caller: i applied for a job, but did not get one. half those jobs came from the census bureau, i guess. we are still at 9% unemployment. i do feel independent, very optimistic, i am sorry, that we are making economic strides in the right direction. host: we have an early phone call from san francisco. joe on the republican line. good morning. caller: i think the money comes from the people, and they absolutely should support the states. the federal government should only be doing three things based
7:10 am
on the constitution. the second thing i would like to say is that the former chief executive officer -- as a former chief executive officer, i would like to challenge the myth is that every time you cut taxes, you will create jobs. host: can you weigh in on the estimate that when you cut the corporate tax rate you only get about -- for every dollar you cut it, you only get 32 cents back. you agree with that? caller: absolutely, i do. if you do the multiples about putting money into the economy, if i keep a job and pay employees, that is a seven or eight times multiple. versus if i have return on investment i need for more corp., if i had to cut a job or mover jobs overseas, i will do that. viewer weighed in
7:11 am
about people not looking for work, my board had to get rid of 10% or 50% of jobs over the years. take care of people. i suggest you paid ceo's for keeping our generating jobs. host: can i ask you what you did? caller: i was the ceo of a major food company. host: what about the situation in california? they have to balance their budget according to their constitution. the budget gap was $20 billion. caller: one of the big problems was the collapse of the real- estate market. that is another myth. the myth that there is that everybody who had a house, or ever but you have a job was a bomb. the reality is a lot of people lost their jobs and lost their
7:12 am
income. there were not a poor risk until they lost their jobs. out here real a state is the main culprit, most of the problems are there. host: we have a tweet that says "no aid to states. it is time to cut, cut, cut the budgets." caller: it is interesting how people are making decisions. they have jobs that pay over 170,000. this is unusual, the economy being in the shape it is in. it is getting better. but when you think about it, i do not see how you could not help the states. there would leave these people out here. we have all these other countries. we will not have are -- we will not help our own people. there is something wrong with that. unfortunately, a lot of what is
7:13 am
going on is politics. these people, these senators, telling people lies. it does not make a difference if you are republican or democrat, everybody needs help. everybody is in the same of boat. i agree with the man that just called. i agree with a lot of what he said. it is a myth when you try to make people buy homes they could not afford. most mortgages, you have to qualify. it is because people losing jobs and they cannot pay bills. i hope that people see through what is going on and put pressure on legislators to stop playing politics with their lives. thank you. host: if you go to the economic policy journal.com, they have some figures there. 32 states have to borrow from the federal government to make
7:14 am
unemployment payments. california has borrowed $7 billion. their debt is $20 billion. 32 states have run out of funds to make their unemployment benefits. the federal government has been supplying states with funds so they can make their payments. as of may 28, the total balance outstanding by 32 states is 30 -- $37.80 billion. michigan has barred $4 billion. illinois has a borrowed $2 billion. dale on independent line. good morning. how are you? should the federal government provide aid to states? caller: i do believe that they should. basically, i think they should do that because there are a lot of people in trouble with their mortgages. for the state i live in, the cost -- the taxes, they raise
7:15 am
every three years. the situation i am in myself, it seems as though the government should definitely bail people out. every time my taxes go up, my mortgage goes up, and everything else goes up. host: dale, the front page of "the baltimore sun." is says that money is expected to flow into maryland highway projects up until 2012. stimulus money will come in until then. richmond, virginia. charles on the republican line. caller: happy father's day. i do not think the states need more money. i think people should learn to go without stuff, and maybe they will get up and work and realize there are two kinds of people -- moneymakers and money takers. this is not about aid to the states. this is about a redistribution. it is about the controllers who want to create or government
7:16 am
dependency, more debt, and more worthlessness. if somebody wants to make it in this country, they can make it. but it comes from hard work and personal responsibility, not the federal government. host: here is another our call on the "the new york times". -- another article by "the new york times". illinois raised the retirement age to 67, the highest of any state in caps public pensions. arizona, new york, in mississippi will make people work more years to earn pensions. virginia is requiring employers to pay into state pension funds for the first time. new jersey will not give anyone pension credit unless they work at least 32 hours per week. there is attached to all of this. nearly all the cuts so far applied only to workers and not yet higher. these brethey are unlikely to
7:17 am
save the weakest funds. utica, new york. larry, democratic line. you are next. caller: there was a county -- as a county legislator the past two years, i have a problem with being called a stimulus package. i think there should be a to the states. however, i think those states need to comply with regulations and it showed that they are going to actually use it to stimulate the economy, which it has been my experience that on the legislature, that is not what it has been doing. it has been more of a bailout. host: do you know how new york is using stimulus funds? caller: in upstate new york, we have used all of our stimulus money to offset medicaid costs,
7:18 am
to fill budget gaps, and we have done no major reform to our budget process. so the underlying problems that have gotten counties across the state and states across the country into the problems they are in in the first place. all we are doing is we are filling in or bailing out these states and filling in a gap that ultimately, once a stimulus funds run out, we are going to be back where we started off. host: the president wants $50 billion for states in 2011. thisklein's column morning says that in order to give money to responsible states and not give it to irresponsible states, she said that the aid should be tied to payroll data. what do think about that? caller: i absolutely agree. i love the state of new york, but that would mean the state of new york would be on the bottom of the list. host: why?
7:19 am
caller: we have been rated the most dysfunctional legislature. as you have been following, we have major fiscal problems in new york state. n 80 daysming up of ab late of our budget. we have a lame-duck governor. we are in a mess in your state. i do not think we need to be rewarded with a ton of stimulus money that is not stimulating the economy and it is not creating jobs. i thought that is what, by definition, what stimulus meant. host: use a search on the county board? caller-- you say you served on e county board? can you explain how it works when you're county gets stimulus money? whether you get from this city -- how are those decisions made by the county board? caller: here in oneida county we
7:20 am
had a senator chuck schumer come in for a press conference. he announced $32 million at one point in stimulus fund to offset medicaid. i have a question to, ok, we are setting medicaid but we are reforming the system. so what do we do? he said, if we are medicaid -- it is a long story, but i will make it short -- what to do with this? we can use this $32 million for whatever we want. he confirmed that at a press conference. the final decision ended up with the county executive. we did not get the $32 million up front. it is coming over the course of the next couple years. the county executive decided he will use it just to build the budget and try to keep taxes down, which is great. everybody wants to keep taxes down. again, though, what we do when the money runs out? s should required
7:21 am
their counties to reform their budget process so we do not end back in this same situation. host: what is the budget process for your county? caller: the county executive proposes a budget. the county board has the final say over it. my personal opinion is that it is usually rubberstamp by the majority, as it has for the past 50 years. programs to grow and grow and grow. new york state is into this for implementing every program possible. it comes as pilot program. you get it for four years, say. you end up creating jobs, patronage jobs. when the four years run out, local municipalities, the counties, do not want to get rid of the programs, because that means somebody's family
7:22 am
member will lose a job. we pick up the cost locally. you can imagine how the budget grows. host: we move on to richard and las vegas. independent line. thank you for waiting. caller: deep down i do not believe in the federal government interfering in the market. it distorts. i believe if the government would stay out of -- and just let the market take care of these problems, people would get back to work. people need to get back to work. that is the only way we will get out of this mess. it does not help when you have free trade agreement where jobs are being sent overseas and our industrial base is being diminished incredibly these high-paying jobs are gone for good. i do believe that people do need
7:23 am
help, from time to time. if we are going to give money to the states, ok, fine, but do something that will stimulate business, give incentives to business to hire people, get people back to work. that is the other way out of this mess. host: john on the republican line in texas. good morning. what is the name of your town? caller: -- texas. are used to work for mobil oil corp.. i worked directly with the federal government in terms of providing sales tax revenue. that is where the problem lies.3 deficit. in 1999, we had a $3 trillion surplus. that was because our infrastructure within each corporation had to be doubled
7:24 am
and tripled. in doing so, we were paying the federal government an additional $80 million a year in infrastructure sales tax to keep our equipment, to run our company. what happened was that, when all these mergers and acquisitions occurred, you not only took away the jobs. he took away that infrastructure every year. when you allow these healthy corporations to merge simply because the ceo can no longer bring of better good service or product to market, you have destroyed the infrastructure that was there. that was the benefit of y2k. rather than politicians saying, this is what we are losing, not just in jobs at but natural sales tax revenues. this is what was running our democracy. this is what was running democracies around the world. that is where the problem lies. host: moving on to florida. democratic line. good morning. caller: i do not think the
7:25 am
federal government should provide aid to the state. this is not the usual problem where we help out people. but it is a problem that was caused by bp. everybody should be working to save a little money for hard times. that is what my husband -- that is what we did. host: to your note what the situation is for the state of florida? -- do you know what the situation is for the state of florida? caller: right now it is not that bad. not like it is in other states. this is not like a tree or wherever or 9/11. -- like katrina or whatever or 9/11. this is something that bp should pay for. host: we are talking about states across the country being in fiscal trouble, not just the
7:26 am
gulf coast states. caller: we have time. they still need to cut back. everybody needs to cut back. the government needs to cut back so we can get ourselves out of this whole. we are not getting ourselves out of a hole. we are digging deeper. host: good morning. independent line. caller: happy father's day, everybody. i think the states should take federal government help. right now in texas, we need some help. sarah plaialin will be coming dn here, so we need to roll out the red carpet for her. everybody around here and needs the jobs. we need jobs that were sent overseas back over here so we can get the american people back to work. i get tired of hearing republicans saying everything about the american people, but that is dark representing all
7:27 am
segments of the american people. they are just talking -- that is not representing all segments of the american people. they are talking up themselves and their cronies. i need to help my family out, also. host: the front page of "the new york times", there is a story about freddie mac and fannie mae, two companies and that the government runs. it says the costs are searching for freddie mac and fannie mae. for all the focus on the historic federal rescue of the banking industry, it is the government's decision to seize it freddie mae and freddie mac that is likely to cost the most money. the tab stands at $140 million. the story is about freddie mac and fannie mae buying homes
7:28 am
in foreclosure and reselling them for 60% of the original cost. that is the front page of "the new york times". sacramento, arnold, on the republican line. caller: hi. my comment is yes, the states -- the federal government should help states because of the state's help the federal government paying taxes as well. i think we should all just try to hang in there and get out of this by helping each other. host: iowa. joe on the democratic line. caller: how are you doing, man? host: doing well. caller: you know what is hurting the country the worst? we are paying 30% of our paycheck. and that does not include health care, which is another 8% of our paychecks. even the people who are working are giving up such a large portion to our government.
7:29 am
if our government would back off and become what it was supposed to be originally, where its decentralized portion will take care of civil defense and let the states do their own business, i think everybody would be better. host: independent line in georgia. what do you think? caller: good morning. the states that did not have an income tax are the state better off financially. if you noticed, california, into the states that are more fiscally irresponsible like california is a sanctuary state. one out of every $3 goes to support illegal immigrants pour. the people of california voted eight years ago that taxpayer money would not go to support illegal immigrants. it was overturned by a federal judge. one out of every $3 goes to
7:30 am
support illegal immigrants. host: what about georgia? what is the situation in georgia? caller: i came up from florida not too long ago, and i am not really sure. i know florida does not have aa income tax. it is one of the eight states. however, the federal government should only give money to estates in an emergency situation. that -- to a state in an emergency situation. that is what is set up for. -- it is set up for. the front page has a story about china agreeing to let their currency float. by how much or when it is not revealed. they want a more lively trading ground to boost exports and jobs. that is a story in "the washington post" and "the new
7:31 am
york times". west palm beach, florida. john, republican line. caller: the question should read, should the american taxpayers to send aid to american taxpayers? the federal government is not an entity in the sky. it is us. when you look at who pays taxes, it is only 50% of us. 50% of us do not pay taxes. sit half of us to send aid to 100% of us? the premise is ridiculous. this idea that we have all this money and it is never ending. it really has to stop. if the money stayed within the state's with the taxpayers, they would not need the aid from the other taxpayers. that are you think surviving fiscally should have to provide, there taxpayers providing money to other states
7:32 am
that are not doing so well? caller: the premise of sharing the wealth is to help the smaller states, almost like the electro college. the states to have the largest populations, like new york and california, that need the most help. if they just left the money in the states to begin with, maybe they would not need the aid. host: richmond, virginia, democratic line. good morning. caller: yes, i think the federal government should provide to the states. host: why is that? caller: because a lot of the states are already struggling, and everybody -- everybody -- some states are criticizing the fact they did not want to accept the stimulus money. in reality, a lot of states and did except -- if the states did not accept stimulus money, we would lose our public services.
7:33 am
even though we are getting it aid to help out with the budget, it is still a shortcoming because that is really not even enough. host: all right. the papers this morning are reacting to the news that bp's ceo was watching his yeachacht a race. "new york post" headline is "captain clueless." news" isk daily "sea-slick." front page of the "times picayne" -- chefs stand by seafood. fears over deep water spread. he is having trouble seeing the
7:34 am
silver lining in the gulf of mexico drilling ban that is starting to cut into his business. it is not a crisis time yet. a safety company in east houston has benefited from orders of supplies a protective safety suits and hard hats to crews cleaning up the gulf oil spill that prompted the moratorium. he knows the business will not last, and he is worried about what is next. that is the front page of "the houston chronicle," this morning. independent line, good morning. caller: listen, i work three jobs. the place icause live in, michigan, we are the whirlpool plant headquarters. they have cut all of the jobs out of here. we are getting ready to lose another plant with 200
7:35 am
workers. i think the federal garmish should provide aid to some of the states, especially states like michigan where we have lost so much with the car industry and things have gone down hill. our schools are in bad shape. we do not have the funding we need to provide for our children. we have to use some type of common sense in a certain situation. not all states are in as dire straits as michigan is. i work three jobs. i am hairstylist, and i have had to pick up another salon. and i work part-time for a company that provides insurance for those that do work part- time. we have to do what we have to do to make a living. host: how many hours a day are you working? what is your schedule? caller: i get up at 6:00 in the
7:36 am
morning. i go to one salon of 4 7:30. i worked there until 12:00. i leave there and go to my other salon, which is about 20 miles away. when i leave there, i go to my 9:00.job anfrom 5:00 to host: p&g do not have health insurance? -- and you do not have health insurance? caller: my husband and daughter do, but i worked provide whatever medical privileges i can, through programs or what have you. my husband has had a heart transplant. i have to work. i am appalled at people say they cannot find work and i have three jobs. they are small jobs, but you have to work. host: here is "the washington post" this morning, speeding up the routt from farm to table is a story about how the
7:37 am
agriculture department is sending in 53 feet of tractor- industrial- facilities right to the farmers in order to encourage more small and organic farming. below that is a story about how the senate may end those secrets holds on nominations. a senator said that she has enough votes to end this practice. tucson, arizona. peter on the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i wanted to talk about the federal government wanted to give the states money, but they want to sue us, even arizona. i believe the federal government owes us money for medical and
7:38 am
supplements. people that are in the hospital that have been taken care of. the secretary janet napolitano has turned her back on arizona. she did not even bother to read the bill. host: the editorial in "the new york times" says another bad idea from arizona. it says they are not satisfied with the shameful new law that would demand racial profiling, politicians are pushing for an law that would deny citizenship to babies born in arizona whose parents cannot prove their legal immigrants -- they are legal immigrants. wanda, on the democratic line, from hawaii. good morning. caller: good morning. this man a couple calls back was talking about budgeting. i was watching it on television last night. it's like really lean, the
7:39 am
budget. they cannot fill all lot of positions. we live in hawaii. you have seven islands with seven different counties. everybody has their own net money coming -- their own money coming in. the county wanted to see if the stimulus money that was coming out to separate it from the state and give it to the county, because maui has, i would say, honolulu and maui are the grwowing islands. on kuwai, they are farms. we are fortunate that we have farmers. we have our own cows and
7:40 am
everything. the things that we need our firemen, policemen, people to take care of the parks and the roads. there are jobs but they have to go to civil service testing, and they are not qualified. what they are doing is these retirees are coming in and taking positions. host: we only have five minutes left. we are talking about should the federal government provide aid to states? the senate left this weekend without passing a package they put together that included unemployment benefits and about $23 billion for states to help with medicare costs, medicaid costs. and it included another $24 billion for unemployment benefits. they did not pass that legislation.
7:41 am
it is expected to come up next week. we want to know whether or not the federal government should provide aid to states. ezra klein in his columns says the federal government should be doing that. for every dollar you put into aid to states, you get about $1.41 back in stimulus. mrs. become a pat on the independent line. good morning. -- mississippi, pat on the independent line. caller: i am from ireland. i was a principal of a school. i will give you a view from the outside looking in, how i see america, the economy and so many different things. socially, before the presidential elections, i had never once heard and lower class mentioned.
7:42 am
about 20% of americans are scavenging. they are basically just existing. i have a brother in ireland. i have a daughter who is doing a doctorate on economics. i am here five years. we traveled around. we saw people living that we in ireland would consider a third world conditions. they are never mentioned or talked about. in education, i see no interest in education. i was a principal of the school in ireland. the standards i would have to be so superior to hear. that would be in the whole public school system. money was ploughed into public education. attorneys are parasites over
7:43 am
here. every second advertisement on attorneysn isare inciting people to go after companies or small companies. people are basically trying to exist, trying to get them to actually sue. host: we move on to kneel in boca raton, florida -- to neill in boca raton, florida. what's on your mind? caller: as long as the system is the way it is, i think they should give back a lot more. i go to work every day in. maybe i get a day off for two days off the week. i am paying federal taxes. i go to the store and buy something, and i am paying taxes again if i should happen to die, which will happen one day, the federal government takes half my
7:44 am
money. i just think the system could be a lot better. why do we have the irs? in other words, why doesn't everybody pay a flat tax? we would probably have a lot more money than we do know in the federal government. and probably no deficit. there are some things we could do. host: st. louis, robert, democratic line. caller: should the state be held by the federal government? absolutely. people talk about the states as if it is some type of inanimate objects. look at the clowns are running these states. they need help. seriously. a lot of people do not know what they are doing, frankly, because they were hired or voted in simply because people wanted to have a beer with them.
7:45 am
i wanted to say one other thing about the jobs situation. how dare people say that people who are not working do not want to work? there may be 100 to 1000 people throughout the united states who really do not want to work, healthy people. i do not think it is that many people. there are a few out there, but not many. you got to be able to create these jobs, folks. listen to what the president is saying about getting new jobs and instead of worrying about the ones that have gone already. host: we are talking about federal aid to states. ezra klein writes in "the washington post" -- you have seen at the stimulus. now meet the anti stimulus. states are raising taxes in order to deal with their budget woes. illinois, carol, an independent
7:46 am
line. good morning. caller: they should take the money and build jobs, open a shoe factory. what is wrong with that? i do not understand why our government keeps sending the money for road work to the same fat cats that get the same jobs. it is not the people out there that need them. i have grandchildren that do not have jobs and have not had jobs for a long time. this world is messed up and they could fix it. just start the factors again. when clinton took our jobs away, he took away our lives. we need the jobs. that would fix our country completely. we would not have to take money from the federal government or anyone else. i am sorry. i get a little bit excited about this because i am so upset what is going on with our country. i am 71 years old and i love this country. host: coming up next, we will turn our attention to the jones
7:47 am
act. it is the legislation passed in 1920 there requires shipping be owned and operated by u.s. workers and u.s. companies. it is something that is come a discussing the bp oil spill. take a look of the definition of the jones act on your screen. this is part of maritime law. we will talk about that, coming up at 8:00 a.m. eastern time with james weakley . he represents a shipping organization. we will talk about what it means and how it is relevant to the bp oil spill. first, we want to get an update on the cleanup efforts there in louisiana. joining us on the telephone it is mark with the "new orleans times picayune."
7:48 am
what is the latest? guest: in louisiana, what is happening right now is the state is building a series of sand bu rns along the edges of the coast that are 40 miles along that are aimed at capturing the oil before it goes inland and causes more damage. that is a tiny portion of the coast, though. the biggest effort being done right now are hundreds of people ofa r are on the small parts the coast, that our beaches, with shovels picking up oil that has come on board. these different barriers that they put out to try to stop the oil from getting into the wetlands. this huge fleet of boats all over the gulf of mexico that are
7:49 am
trying to pick up oil or capture. i think that is one of the things that is lost on people. 6200 boats. that is 1200 more than it was involved in d-day. host: are these u.s. operated? guest: the vast majority are. there are a few that have been able to get out there that are foreign-owned, that have gone through a process of being allowed to see me in that despite what the jones act requirements are. -- that have been allowed to come in despite what the jones act requirements are. host: as far as the cleanup and protection of seafood in the area, what is happening? guest: there is an extensive
7:50 am
process of testing seafood going on. and the other thing is that, all areas that have any potential for having oil in the water have been shut down for fishing in advance of the water becoming potentially oiled. so, the idea there is that the state is very concerned about the fish that are being sold, so they have basically shut down a huge amount of the coast line. there is still a lot of coastline that is open and clean. the oil has not gotten there underwater or on the shoreline. fishermen are still out there fishing. so those fish are fine as far as we can tell.
7:51 am
the fish that are going into the market are being tested. part of that article you were talking about explained that there's both a process of testing the fish for individual chemicals involved in oil, which is a long process. it takes a week or two to get the samples back. the other process is the smell test. there is an extensive network set up of people who have been trained to take the seafood and determined by its smell, through methods that are well known, whether there is oil in them. host: we have heard from the president last week that he wants all long-term plan for restoring the gulf coast. some have said that should include freeing up the mississippi river. can you explain what that means? guest: actually, what the
7:52 am
president said is a bit frustrating for people in louisiana, because louisiana believes it does have a long- term plan. it has a master plan for rebuilding its wetlands that has been in place for several years now. what is missing is the billions of dollars needed to do it. the biggest processes that are being talked about -- there are a couple going on. the first one is diverting a significant chunk of the water that is coming down the mississippi, south of new orleans, and back into the wetlands. that water includes sediment, basically desert that comes from the midwest -- basically dirt that comes from the midwest. that would rebuild the wetlands. you would end up with more land over time. the other thing this plan would do is that you would have a
7:53 am
settlement that would be dredged from the river and from other and would behore pumped back into areas that have become open water over the last 100 years, to make them turn back into wetland platforms. host: thank you, sir, for your time. a c-span crew was in louisiana to look at the relief efforts for local fishermen that there. we will show you that. we will then turn our attention to the jones act. we will be back. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
7:54 am
>> i am from a grand bayou. >> what brings you here today? >> to get a food voucher because i was denied food stamps. i am a commercial fisherman. >> what kind of fishing do you do? and how long have you had this? >> all my life. >> have you gotten help here before from catholic charities? >> yes, sir. >> what has it been like for you? why do have to wait so long?
7:55 am
>> we are now number 7. there are seven people ahead of us. >> first come, first served. >> they give out 75 numbers. if you are number 76, you do not get it. we got here at 7:00 cannot last week, and we were number 85. >> we are disturbing food carts and vouchers. these are $100 for smaller, local grocery store. we also wanted to offer wynn dixie because there are some food items that these stores to not have appear. -- do not have. the vietnamese like to purchase the jasmine rice. we tried to accommodate them. >> myrtle?
7:56 am
>> nice oto meet you. here is your card. are there any children in the household? how many people in the family? >> just me. >> we need you to sign this. >> we are native americans. we have been here for 300 years. not only our way of life is gone, it is our heritage and everything else is gone with this oil spill. >> have you received anything from bp? >> and not a dime. i have put in applications to work and i did not receive a call yet. >> we bounced back before. i guess we will bounce back from this.
7:57 am
we had katrina, 8 feet of water. we had to tear down and dismantle it. >> do you mind if i film this? >> not at all. >> i was shrimping for 69 years. my daddy was a farmer. there is freedom when you are out working. it is freedom, especially when you are the boss. you do what ever you what. i put in 12 hours or 13 hours. >> what kind of help to have you received? he received anything from bp? >> i got to go checks from bp already.
7:58 am
my first check was on the eight of the month. the second will be next month on the eighth. >> what kind of help you get here? >> we get food stamps. >> food cards or give certificates, not food stamps. we give them a $100 give certificates. we do this once a week. also, we pay one bill for up to $200 every month for them. at the end of this month, we will enroll them in long-term case management which helps them develop a plan for restructuring the lifestyle they will need in the future. >> self-employed fishermen. i have been working all my life. i am not able to work right now. they have shut us down. we cannot work.
7:59 am
we had one check from bp. we are waiting on the other one. so far, people have been working -- a lot of people are not secure about their checks because they did not receive it yet. everything is on the question about that. the only thing we can do is wait it out and see what will happen. >> we only have a certain amount we are allowed to distribute for the week. we can do 125 at this location. we will do 75 today, 50 tomorrow. we have to turn some people today because there are more than 125 families living here that have been affected. >> [speaking vietnamese] >> from my understanding, it is
8:00 am
from bp. i know we did have a grant with them up for 30 days. i am not exactly sure of that got extended. to my understanding, it ended a round of june 10. a lot of it has been coming from bp. >> you're welcome. host: james weakley is the president of the lake carriers' association here to talk about the jones act. let's start with the definition of it. while you are talking, we will put on words on the screen. what does it say? guest: it is section -- of the u.s. marine act of 1920.
8:01 am
it is not just limited to a maritime. that movement has to be carried out by an american company. host: it is to be a u.s.-owned ship operated by u.s. workers? . .
8:02 am
and basically the process is we have a need, is there american flag vessels that capable of the need? if yes the americans get the business. if not the foreign flag ship gets the business. host: has there been any waivers done for this situation in the gulf? guest: there was one request. there was an american flag capability. the american flag vessel got that request. as of the 16th, the federal onscene coordinator has anticipated the need. so he has already waived that limitation. so as of right now there are no limitations on the use of skimmers anywhere in the united
8:03 am
states. host: so for those ships that are outside of that three-mile mark, they can be u.s. or foreign vessels. do you know how many there are work operating outside of that three-mile radius? guest: i don't know outside. i believe the answer is 15 foreign flag vessels are involved in the response. i believe there are 400 to 500 skimmers involved in the response. and there are between 2,000 to 3,000 vessels of opportunity that are adapted with skimming cape yablets responding. and those are coast guard members. host: there's been a lot of criticism of the president for not waiving the jones act. that several countries have offered to help but the administration has turned them away. in the washington times. had mr. obama instead waived the jones act, as did president george w. bush did after
8:04 am
hurricane katrina, that would have sum bled a global arm adda of mercy. who knows how many processing jobs this would have saved. instead, thousands of gulf coast workers still endure a long march from dormant docks to bustling unemployment lines. even now mr. obama could invite all tho help clean up the waters and potentially the carolinas and points north if this enters blue current, serves around key west, and slides up the eastern board. how do you react to that? >> one, admiral allen has been very clear that there have been no refuseles for any foreign assistance. the canadians are assisting, the norgeance are assisting. multiple countries are. host: but outside of that three-mile. guest: up until two days ago that was the case. up until two days ago there wasn't a reason they couldn't be allowed within that time zone.
8:05 am
there's no jonet act limitation. it's waiverable on a specific basis. the u.s. merchant marine industry has never objected to a specific vessel waiver when there was no u.s. need. let's take a look at the impacts of the waives waiving of the jones act in katrina. the biggest was a foreign flag cruise ship who not only was compensated for lost gambling revenues as if they were under way with a full cruise complement, but the united states taxpayer actually paid to upgrade their miniature golf course on a foreign flag cruise ship. wouldn't it be better to take that money and hire those very americans, those very shrimpers who can't shrimp. why not hire them to clean up oil? view this as an immigration problem. ships are like businesses are like people. would we allow a foreign
8:06 am
country, a foreign investor to set up shop in cleveland. i'll give you an example. there's an auto company that has just been idled. there they are being parseled up and sold. could you imagine the feeling of those auto workers if a swiss company came in, bought that facility, remember the deep water horizon is owned by a swiss company. flew the flag of the republic of the marshall islands. says they didn't have to pay american wages, didn't have to hire americans, didn't have to abide by our enviral laws and pay -- environmental laws. this is adding insult to injury to the very people whose lives have been destroyed by a foreign company operating a vessel owned by a foreign company flagged in
8:07 am
a foreign country operating in the jurisdiction of the united states of america. host: is this about not wanting to upset organized labor? guest: it's kind of ironic that the gulf is the least organized, least unionized segment of the maritime industry. the offshore supply vessels and the shrimping and the farming industry are not heavily unionized if at all. i think what it is is if unfortunately people trying to exploit natural catastrophe for political and personal and private gain. host: so what is the carrier's association? guest: well, 125 plus year trade association based in cleveland, ohio. and we represent u.s. flag ships on the great lakes primarily moving iron or coal. and limestone, i always say we provide the furnaces and raw materials that make manufacturing possible in north america. host: and you also serve here
8:08 am
object maritime board. guest: yes, ma'am. it's 400 plus maritime and maritime related industries designed to promote u.s. flap shipping and particularly the domestic interest of u.s. flag shipping. host: let's turn to phone calls. mark on the republican line. you're up first. caller: i've been a life-long republican and i know the republicans are calling for a waiver of the jones act. but i'm trying to understand what sense that makes. because apparently there's all these american ships standing by willing to do the cleanup. i don't understand what advantage it is to bring in the foreign ships. guest: well, illingd say there's a huge advantage for those foreign vessel owners and perhaps for bp who could take advantage of the foreign labor, ships, capital. there's a huge cost to the american taxpayer. there's a huge cost to the spill response itself. and, quite frankly, i'm puzzled
8:09 am
by the partenship nature of the debate. i will give the congressman from florida credit. he held up his blackberry and read from his blackberry e-mail from a u.s.-based company who had offered their services and their equipment to the coast guard and to bp to clean up this spill. and yet are sitting by idly waiting for the call. to me, it just doesn't make any sense to kick the gulf shrimpers and fishermen when they're down and say we need to bring in foreigners wh who can do this job cheaper, allegedly better. i would say the americans are most capable at this spill response. host: pennsylvania. kyle, good morning. caller: good morning. i'm a democrat. i think barack obama should have waived the jones act. i mean, the jones act is good, kind of the way -- host: we're going to talk move orn to the next phone call. but first i want to get your
8:10 am
reaction to abc news has a story about barges that were equipped with vacuums to suck up the oil and that the louisiana governor there was very critical of the plfings because these barges were sitting idle even though they were already to go, all ready to go and help suck up the oil on the surface. do you know the back story on this and does it have to do with the jones act? guest: i don't. and it's puzzling to me why there hasn't been more equipment deployed. there may be contractual reasons, lojistcal reasons. but i can tell you what is not a reason ands that the jones act. there's no limitation. if there's a foreign flag, there's no limitation bei don't know three miles and it literally takes a nano second to say i need this equipment, i need it here, now. bring it in. there's no jones act waiver required. host: what is the status of the u.s. domestic?
8:11 am
it's one of the largest in the world efplt we have one of the most capable u.s. fleet in the world, everything from the ability to move iron or coal to limestone to finished products to petroleum products. host: next phone call comes from north carolina. bernard on the independent line. caller: i listened to a caller last week, and this is the year the nut job. i don't understand how come we can't do a combination of both? i don't mean to offend you. how come we can't do a combination of both? the oil has to be cleaned up. let's use common sense and check these vessels and make sure they don't have terrorists but use american workers too. you are so partisan now. i think you are scared because you're acting crazy now. host: about that point.
8:12 am
why not accept ships from saudi arabia, other countries that have experience with oil spills? guest: i agree with what the caller said. it's a combination. it always has been a combination. up until the 16th there were no limitations beyond three miles. now no skimmer limitations within three miles. we have over 2,000 u.s. skimmers and skimmer type vessels identified by the coast guard. currently there are less than 500 that have been brought in. there's 1500 other skimmers out there capable with an american flag and crew that are already inspected by the coast guard so that they are safe. why they haven't been brought in, i don't know. but i can tell you the jones act is not the reason. host: but the foreign vessels, the foreign skimmers that are in there right now, why have they been brought in? if there's 1500 u.s. skimmers. guest: i don't know. of those 15 foreign vessels, i don't know how many are skimmers. i know a couple vessels on scene
8:13 am
have flower flag and some of the shuttle -- foreign flag. and in the gulf we use pipeline to transit in the norweigian sea they use shuttle tankers to move the product from offshore to the coast. host: north carolina, robert democratic line. caller: yes. ok. i want to ask a question. didn't they have an oil spill 20 years ago in the same spot? host: 20 years ago? are you thinking about the spill in mexico? guest: no. the gulf of mexico. it's the same spot. they had dug 20 years ago, they dug down and they went into. bp had a spill there 20 years ago. host: where did you read that? caller: it was a book or summer. but i know they had it. host: all right. myrtle beach, south carolina fred on the republican line. caller: good morning.
8:14 am
sir, if there was a -- if there was a truth it would have already blown a gasket. what about the dutch? they offered ships and the united states turned them down. guest: first, i won't take any offense but i will say i'm being very truthful here. the dutch offered dredgers. it's kind of ironic that they didn't often them to the coast guard or responder. they offered them via the press. and the dutch for years have been trying to access the u.s. market in dredging. there are american dredgers standing by with similar capabilities. who would offer their services through the proper channels through the coast guard, through the responders. if the american dredging fleet can't handle it, i say bring in the dutch. we used to say in this country, this is a difficult situation. we need to send in the marines. now it appears, this is a
8:15 am
difficult situation. we need to bring in the foreigners. that's just wrong. host: are you still on the line? caller: i am. host: what's your response? caller: i think it's the president kowtowing to the unions. and he's so distant or deforms or detached or thinks that he can lower disease and heal the earth he can do it by himself. host: when did you first hear about whether or not the jones act should be waived and the criticism of the president? caller: it was about a week after the blowout. host: and what were you watching or reading? caller: i was watching tv and listening to the news on fox network. host: ok. so people on the left, democrats are saying that this is an issue being stirred up by fox news, by the right. how do you respond to that? caller: how can we stir something up? there's a big mess in the gulf of mexico. there's rightly so, people were
8:16 am
outraged that the chairman of bp went yachting yesterday. where was our president? where was he? he was out on a golf course. now, can you tell me that this is better to go out and play golf and not know what's going on or to be on a boat and not know what's going on? host: what about his comments related to the jones act? guest: let me p be perfectly clear. nobody wants to clean up this oil more than the u.s. merchant fleet. nobody has more of a vested interest. when the oil is cleaned up and hopefully it will be sooner than i think it will take, we will still be here. will those foreign flag ships still be here? will our tax money have gone and our wages have gone offshore? we have never objected to a specific waiver for any vessels in this case or others when there was a lack of u.s. capability. host: so does that mean you have
8:17 am
objected to waivers, petitions for waivers thus far during the gulf oil spill? have you objected to any of them? guest: there was one waiver thus far in the gulf oil spill. it was for an operation that a u.s. vessel was closer, equally capable, and better able to do the job. so in that instance, the maritime administration said here's a need, here's a request from a foreign flag vessel, probably the vessel operator or owner or someone related to them. i don't believe it originated with the government. we said we're ready. we want to respond. let us in the game. so in that instance we objected. host: how much on average do you know are these workers being paid on the different types of boats in the gulf coast? guest: i don't know. on the sufplt, it would be the -- u.s. minimum wage or better. ironically, if it were a foreign flag there's no limitations. it could be as low as they go. in what they call the flags of convenience there's some ships
8:18 am
of shame. they don't, they pay inhumane wages, demand inhumane working hours and conditions. businesses within the united states jurisdictions should have to comply with u.s. laws. that should be true on land, air, sea, and water . host: you say the u.s. workers could be being paid minimum wage or better. on average, is it better? guest: absolutely. host: how much? guest: let's say ironically the foreign vessels have asked for waivers in the offshore drilling unit because they can't find american workers to fill specific jobs. you would think that would be a high technical job. at a hearing the other day the majority of those waivers have been in the galley for people to cook food and wash. an equivalent worker on one of our vessels makes two to three times what the land-based equivalent of that job is. these are good-paying jobs. they should be reserved for
8:19 am
americans. host: ohio, mary, independent line. caller: good morning. i wanted to make a comment. i think the republicans are once again showing their partisanship and their hatred of unions by taking up this issue of the jones act. and isn't it true that when president bush suspended it after katrina, it was strictly to undercut union wages and a lot of illegal immigrants got those jobs to help clean up katrina. guest: i'm not sure if there were a lot of illegal immigrants that were hired to clean up katrina or not. i'm not sure if that was the intent of the previous administration. i can tell you that one of the cruise lines made a lot of money because they didn't make money from gambling, they made it off the federal government. there were possibly a few movements of petroleum products during the katrina waiver. and remember, that was waived
8:20 am
for national defense purposes. environment calt city we have going on down right now certainly justifies the use of foreign vellsles they are being used now and the coast guard has allowed the opportunity for more of that. we don't object to that. we need to clean up with oil with everything possible. americans should have the first right to do those jobs. host: dallas, texas. democrat line. you're next. caller: i'm an engineer and i'm listening to a lot of this information. and it seems like there's a lot of hand waving going on. somebody takes one statement and then blows it up for everything. would your guest kindly tell me exactly how many and what type of foreign vessels are here rather than all these foreign vessels. give me some numbers. you tell me the facts and i'll tell you the answer.
8:21 am
guest: well, unfortunately the coast guard can't tell you how many vessels are operating in the outer continental shelf lands because there's not a requirement for the foreign vezzles to report in. i can tell you within the context of the spill response, according to the coast guard, there are 15 foreign flag vessels involved in the recovery operations. and that information is valid. i believe, as of the 11th of june. host: are you still there? caller: i didn't know how many. and then let me just say, i'm signed in on democrat but i couldn't care less which one of them they are. i vote for the person. but in any case, why don't some of these people say this fellow is wrong? you read an article by a reporter or whatever he was in a new orleans thing that was totally contra dictted by this man.
8:22 am
now, why doesn't he come up and say two people run off at the mouth and one of them is wrong. why doesn't the other one say you are wrong. and we'll move on from there. so there's no numbers in this whole thing. host: hold on. what did the reporter from the times picayune say? caller: you read it. host: i didn't read an article. we were talking to the reporter about the jones act. caller: whatever it was. some journal jist got a piece of information and he was dead wrong, entirely wrong by your guest. so the guest didn't say, just said something else instead of saying let's don't believe that other guy at all. and it was in the, it was a reporter. so i'm a little sick of people taking one or two examples and scruge it up for the -- screwing it up for the entire industry. host: north carolina, on the republican line. good morning. caller: hi.
8:23 am
the fellow before me kind of the same way, i'm a registered republican but i don't care any more. i'm voting for the person. i don't care what the party. this whole thing with the oil spill has been political spin from day one, and i'm sick of it. everybody telling a different story. it's absolutely no integrity in journalism any more. it's just thrown out the window. you get a couple stories and they run and you get a couple other stories and they run. and i like seeing both sides of thing, yes. but i want to see the truth. host: let's talk about facts a little bit. how many u.s. vessels are in the gulf responding right now to the oil spill? guest: thousands. literally thousands. i believe there are between two,000 to three thou vessel of opportunity skimmers and i think there are 2,000 more vessels
8:24 am
willing to be converted from shrimpers, pleasure boats to skimmers. and that's -- i think the total number is about 5,000 if you can combine government and contractors. host: you said that takes weeks to convert a vessel of opportunity to what they need. has that been the issue in what some crit 86 are saying is a slow response? guest: it takes weeks to convert a vessel to a skimmer. it takes hours to convert a vessel to a vessel of opportunity skimmer. what that means is you take -- you will see pictures where they take their outriggers and tow boom behind them and they use a vacuum system to collect this oil that's coraled in that. host: i think we have a picture here. this is a shrimp. guest: that's a vessel of opportunity skimmer. host: and we put that.
8:25 am
so this was a shrimp boat and then it was made into what? guest: a vessel of opportunity skimmer. what they're showing there is the fishing equipment uses the outriggers to get the boom out, to coral the oil and then uses another system to suck the oil off the water. interesting, there are no limits on foreign flag skimming equipment on u.s. flag vessels anywhere even within that three miles. so this takes hours. they train the people how to do it and they deploy them. host: but is all of that because of the jones act? guest: no. host: so you have to wait to make a vehicle or to make a vessel into what uptted to. you have to wait and train u.s. people to do it sfplt that because of the jones act? guest: no. the reason is because we have occupational health and safety rules and we don't want them hurting themselves in the response. and we also want to make sure that they are doing more good than harm. if you are mucking around in a
8:26 am
marsh, you can do more long-term environmental damage than good. host: let's return to phone calls. san jose, california. caller: good morning. hi. thanks for taking my call. i have like a question, a comment, and then another kind of question like three directions i'm going in. one question is, well first my comment is nassa i believe has a technology to address the situation as far as taking all the garbage patching off, everything, and they shoot it into space. that to me seems simple. but nasa has billions and billions of dollars to go look for things out in space when they don't want to observe our oceans. anyway, i was wondering if piracy might add a factor to this in because there's thousands of ships out there and piracy issues. and then i was also wondering what do you do with the oil once
8:27 am
it's separated, what happens with all that oil? host: a couple questions. i'm not sure we're able to answer. guest: the ppracy issue is not a factor here. what happens to the oil is it's actually transported to refineries and is refined. if it is absorbed, they have to dispose of that boom in accordance with u.s. hazardous material laws. you brought up nasa. i'm not sure about nasa's capabilities. i know the u.s. department of ship salvage is engaged. and the sofe yet five times used nuclear bombs to stop oil leeks. four of the times it worked. i think that's a bad idea but that's the kind of things that have been done in the past and people suggest. but the best way to clean this up is with existing technology, most of it was demped in the
8:28 am
united states. host: we're talking about the jones act with jim who is the president of the lake carriers association. what is the history of the jones act? the law is 1920. guest: ironically, it's the third it ration of laws. the first goes back to 1789 when our nation was founded they recognized the importance of a vital u.s. merchant marine. again, in 1817, that belief was revalid dated with a new law. and in 1920, apparently they got it right baw they haven't had a significant change since then. it's for national defense. the u.s. merchant marine is the fourth arm of the military. we provide a naval ausm i willry. and also, we provide sea lift capabilities. you can't supply the troops without ships. 95% of our supplies to our troops move by water. we provide sea fears, the ability in a time -- sea fares, to take merchant marines.
8:29 am
the navy doesn't move cargo any more, that's been outsourced. host: so this domestic fleet is privately owned guest: yes, ma'am . host: there have been some who have said the coast guard for future incidents like we're seeing in the gulf coast needs to have its own government-run fleet that can respond more quickly than we have seen this our domestic fleet respond in this situation. guest: it's interesting. we went through that debate in the 70s, whether it should be coast guard or commercial. the decision was made we need coast guard expertise to leverage commercial capital. think of the irony here. u.s. companies invested in this capability. now, the one time we have the ability to use that people want to bring foreigners in to take those jobs. why would any american company invest in oil spill response capabilities in the future if they realize that a swiss
8:30 am
company or other is going to come in and take away that business? host: if you look at the jones act, the language beyond what we have, it says that u.s. will continue to encourage a domestic fleet in order to respond. does that mean that there are tax breaks for these privately owned ships, or do they get money somehow from the taxpayer in order to ensure that their vessel is ready to go? host: excellent point. from the u.s. domestic perspective, there are no tax breaks, there are no incentives, there are no subsidies for united states domestic vessels. s that absolutely not the case with foreign flag ships. they're called flags of convenience for a reason. all right? owned by swiss operated by companies flagged in liberia, the flag state inspects it. don't get me wrong, there are
8:31 am
very capable flag states that inspect their fleets. not all of them are like that. not all of them are that good. host: let's go to louisiana. frank joining us on the democratic line. caller: i've been listening to your show. i would like to say i support this gentleman, i support the jones act even though it needs to be tweaked some. but offshore workers on the rigs because it don't cover them when they get hurt. and i support 100% american flag ships in american waters. the host: do you work in the business? caller: i've worked servicing the offshore oil industry on the boats. i've been a commercial fisherman most of my life. i'm 52 years old. i started on the water when i was just a kid . host: what are you doing right now? caller: now i'm part of the vessel opportunity program.
8:32 am
host: so what does that mean? what are you doing? caller: well, i'm booming the oil so skimmers can come and collect it or the new vacuum systems that they are now putting in place to suck the oil. host: does that mean you're using your fishing vessel for this? caller: no. i'm working on a friend's boat. my boat was destroyed in katrina. host: tell me how much you're getting paid? caller: yes. because i'm a deckhand i'm getting $236 a day. the captain gets $336 a day plus his boat. depending on the size of the boat, it can go up to, if you've got a 55 boat the boat gets $3,000 a day. host: so you're getting $236 a day. how many days have you been working? caller: it's a four-day rotation but sometimes beg a deckhand, the captain's under a little more tight rule. you can jump another boat and work as a deckhand for somebody
8:33 am
else because the captains have to say who works deck hands. host: so you could potentially be working seven days a week. are you? caller: no, i'm not. i'm not out. i don't have it in me no more. five or six days is fine for me. host: do you get the money from the captain and the captain gets the money from the u.s. government? caller: no. the chks checks are processed by the contract and given out. there have been some mess ups in the beginning but it's starting to be more organized. host: hold on. guest: do you think a foreign vessel or a foreign worker paying foreign taxes and not having to pay american health care costs and costs of living would do your job for less money? caller: oh, i know they will. that's what happened to america. too much foreign has happened here. it's destroyed the american high seas merchant marines.
8:34 am
before, after you got out of the navy, he was at the bombing of pearl harbor then went to merchant marine schools. and sailed until i was born when he gave that up. but now, there's not much of that left. host: frank, appreciate the phone calls. we'll move on to richard on the republican line in south wails. caller: that's right. well, it's a brief question and a comment really. first of all, obviously this is an issue that involves the entire gulf region. and i just wonder whether or not the pride and the feeling towards actually trying to maintain jobs for americans -- and i've got lots of people in my family and in my life who are american -- whether or not you
8:35 am
should look at the reality, which this is a situation that needs to be dealt with very, very quickly. and whether or not at this time you just swallow that bit of pride that, in defense of american jobs, just to deal with the situation at hand. which is a matter of ecological and economic disaster. and my other comment that i would like to make is that, you know, in many other oil rich areas the government, whatever it may be, whether the gulf area or in the north sea oil area, the government has always put in place emergency plans and equipment to actually deal with the situation or any potential situation that could happen. so why wasn't there 80 to 120 ware houses containing equipment throughout the gulf region to deal with these issues in the first place?
8:36 am
guest: a couple comments. one is we think it would be more of an insult to force americans to sit idly while foreigners responded to the oil spill. i would hope you would feel the same way if it heands in the north sea. we want to engage. and we need all the help we can get. but we think it's an insult to force people that have lost their jobs because of this spill to sit by idly while other people come in and take those jobs and those opportunities. there are spill response plans. obviously this is unprecedented. obviously the equipment on scene and read dwroy go has been overwhelmed. i think the amounts of estimates of spills has increased. i think three times in the past month. and in the back of my mind i'm wondering if the responders were lying on those lower estimates and didn't ramp up quickly
8:37 am
enough. i don't know that to be the case or not. i just throw that out as a possibility. host: next phone call. jacksonville, florida. caller: this is mike. i've been following this closely. and i know this area fairly well. and the misinformation about the jones act in connection with the spill is just nothing short of shocking. first, the american capabilities in this area are world class. we have the toughest environmental laws in the world, and we have to have the materials and capability ready to respond to what can be foreseen. secondly, not one inch of beach will be fouled because of the jones act. that's partly because of the american capability and also because of the jones act frankly doesn't restrict almost any operations that could take place by foreign vessels in the gulf.
8:38 am
so i think the facts are, as mr. weakly has pointed out, that the jones act is simply a nonissue as a matter of fact in this matter. host: what do you do for a living? caller: in the shipping industry. host: what do you do specifically? caller: well, i am involved in the in fact the same organization that jim belongs to. host: ok. lackland, florida. jane on the democrat line. caller: good morning. what i think is that it's a ridiculous waste of money. i see these people out there with has mat suits on picking up little pieces of tar and putting them in a bag when i don't understand every farmer, every beach town has a tractor. every beach town has a beach cleanup.
8:39 am
i don't understand. i don't understand why you can't take a tractor with a piece of hard ware cloth and make a frame and drag the beaches and pick up the tar instead of one piece at a time by these jerks that are being paid by bp. i don't understand. i believe that every shrimper from corpus christiie, every fisherman would participate. and with their rigs. i slimpled the coast from corpus christi to tampa florida for many, many years with my husband. they know the water, they know what to do. i don't understand why the money has got to go out at the rate it's going out when i think the biggest part of the people in all these states would have come forward with their tractors, with donations from home depot, of things that need to be done. i think all it needs is some common sense. host: witter haven, florida. caller: hi.
8:40 am
he beat up on carnival cruise line. they hired that ship to come in after katrina and they put hundreds of people lived aboard the ship. and he is talking about the put put golf course. i don't even think there was a put put golf course on the holiday. i used to work on it. you can take the mississippi queen. only rich people can afford to ride the mississippi queen or the delta queen up and down the rivers because they're all american flag. but you can go on a cruise out of miami for a third. the foreign ships have to go tag up at a foreign port before they can come here. also, you can't ride a ship from miami up to stop a savannah, stop at jacksonville, stop because of the jones act. so no other american ship has ever been able to put together a
8:41 am
business plan thal work that people will ride the ships up and down the coast making calls on all the ports. host: let's get a response. guest: first, i did not mention carnival cruise line, you did. and you're correct by the way. and there was a put president golf course that was paid -- put put golf course. and you're also correct that no american company can compete with carnival cruise line or any other foreign cruise line because they don't pay american taxes, they don't play by our rules, they don't pay our health care costs, they're allowed to hire foreign laberrs. all i understand is if you're going to do business in the united states, you should have to pay by the united states rules and let's just level the playing field. it is not a fair world out there. we cannot compete fairly in the international community with foreign countries. and we lose. look at our u.s. fishery. here's a great example. the pacific fishery was on the verge of collapse because we
8:42 am
allowed foreign ships to come into our waters, fish, and they overfished it. in 1976 the u.s. congress decided that was a mistake. they decided to reexert jurisdiction to limit the amount of fish that foreign vessels could take. and not only use foreign catching boats, they used foreign processing boats that anchored off our coast or floated off our coast and then impord it into our country even though it was our fish. once we extended that, we have a safer fishing fleet, because before those fishermen were not doing a good job of remaining in business. we have a vibrant fishery. the fishery is no longer being raped and pill ladged by foreign fishermen. it's being magged effectively by americans and american fishermen. >> host: mobile, alabama. michael. independent line. caller: good morning.
8:43 am
i support the jones act and more of the purposes that i see there is if we let foreign vessels within that nautical miles of the coast line, how can you say that's a safe vessel and there wouldn't -- and i know this probably hasn't been brought up today. but there's so much high priority along the gulf coast, refinery,,l and g plants. has anybody looked at the security issue and the reason why we keep this intact is to keep them out. host: let's talk about the security reasons. guest: absolutely. the jones act is a national security issue not just for providing services for our military but we provided service. who cares more about the united states than united states citizens? why wouldn't we require the u.s. citizens, u.s. inspection laws
8:44 am
to be applied within the u.s. outer continental shelf? i think we need to take that step. we need to take back the outer continental shelf and its resources just like we did the fish riss. currently, the gentleman worked on an offshore supply vessel. ironically, they gamed this. if they're attached to the bottom, it's a point in the united states and they have to be serviced by a u.s. flag. if they're not attached they can be serviced by a foreign flag u.s.v. so they temporarily detach. that's into very safe. that's not very smart. it may be legal but frankly it's wrong. host: has the president done enough to defend the jones act? guest: you know, i'm trying to be careful not to criticize the administration. i think they're doing a good job. i give the president credit for not doing a knee jerk reaction and making a bad situation worse. why do we need to put more
8:45 am
americans out of work because of a situation created by foreign countries in our waters. host: is there talk up on capitol hill of revising the jones act? and, if so, what sort of tweaks would you like to see to it? guest: actually, what scares me is there's talks of destroying the jones act. what a catastrophe created by a foreign country in our waters to destroy the protections of the jones act. i think there's a good argument now based on this incident that we should extend all u.s. laws to the outer continental shelf. let's just be done with it. host: so that means going beyond the three miles. guest: exactly. that means if you're going to come to our waters and harvest our oil, you need to pay u.s. taxes, you need to play by u.s. environmental laws. host: and that means u.s. workers. guest: yes, ma'am. we have the finest military in the world. we send our young men and women
8:46 am
all over the world to fight wars. why can't we give them the opportunity to go all over the world to explore oil? host: what about the argument that these companies will not come in if they have to hire u.s. workers and they'll float those floating rigs to other countries. guest: they'll go where the oil is and play by the rules. now, the deep water horsen, we lost 11 americans on that crew. some of them they are required to hire some americans. ironically, there's a waiver though if the equipment is more than 50% foreign owned. and the deep water horizon representative testified at the same hearing i was at. he claimed there's no financial reason to be in a flag in the marshall islands. if that's the case, there's no financial reason not to be flagged in the united states. he can keep that american crew on board and he can go off the coast of africa or north sea and have americans explore or have
8:47 am
americans benefit from our natural resources. why should we export the value of what is in our sea bode? host: try to get one more phone call. dave democratic line. caller: sure. i've just been watching with interest what's going on in the united states. nothing to do with the jones act. it's really a general comment. when mr. obama came in and was president, we were all delighted of a new, somebody new coming in. but unfortunately, the way that bp, which is not a british compaay any more. it's shared, owned by parts afamerica, major shareholding's in america, here if britain. a lot of people are going to lose their 3e7kses if bpgose down. i love america, but by the same token, that this dike my where you have the incident in india where 25,000 people died. and yet mr. yearnedson who was the c.e.o. of union car bide refused to go to india.
8:48 am
you know, at the present time the americans, they release more greenhouse gas than any other nation in the earth yet refuses so sign coita, yet uses a third of the world's oil. host: your comments are not really related to jim. but before we go can i just ask you real quick what the criticism from the obama administration from members of congress toward bp and how americans are viewing bp what is that doik to the imabbling of america in caller: i can see, you know, president obama when he first came in, i would say 95% of the people in britain would say what a fantastic thing. and now, it seems to be because of the mid-term elections that's going on, start to realize it's to do more with politics. host: we'll leave it there. thanks for calling in this morning. a call from england.
8:49 am
i want to thank you for joining us this morning. appreciate your time. we're going to take a short break. when we come back, we're going to take a look at what's next in afghanistan. our guest is brian fishman, counter terrorism research fellow with the new american foundation. but first we want to take a look at the cartoons from this week.
8:50 am
host: this is brian on your screen. he is with the new american foundation just back from afghanistan, spent two weeks there in kabul? guest: about two weeks. host: and i want to get your reaction to the world section of
8:51 am
the washington post. afghan forces apathy starts to wear on the u.s. platoon. in canada har, -- kandahar, what is your reaction to that? guest: it's not all that surprising. the biggest challenge, we tend to look at the violence as a metric of how we're doing but the real questions are a lot harder to pin down. how commited are afghan troops, how well trained they are, how secure is the political leadership in afghanistan in order to use those troops and security forces. how well are they able to adjuste kate disputes between afghans. this is how the taliban came to power originally in the 1990s is they were able to exploit the fact that the afghan government at the time was unable to have judicial processes to adjudicate disputes. and the taliban would come in and sort of say, well, the land dispute, here's the border.
8:52 am
and so i think when we read stories like that one, that's the real story that's going to tell us going forward whether we can be successful in afghanistan. it's not so much the level of violence but how commited are the afghan government at large. host: of those questions that you just posed, how would you answer them after visiting there? guest: it's mixed. for sure. i think one -- my reaction coming back, i went in with a healthy dose of skepticism and i came out with that as well. general mcchrystalal and icon bri and our guys there are doing a great job. i really think that they are the best people that we could have on the ground. but the challenges are just immenls. you're trying to take a society that hasn't had a really functional government since the early 1970s. and even then didn't really control its entire territory and you're trying to create a bureaucracy that it functions well when you've got all of
8:53 am
these tribal groups and not just tribal groups but regionly war lords and these folks that have interests that are completely dime metically opposed to the central government. and so the sort of default for the afghan government is to sort of play by the old rules that have gone on in afghanistan for centuries. and i think that's where we see the karzai government now is that -- and part of that they need to do to sort of manipulate the tribal politics and work behind the scenes in ways that are very difficult for us as americans to understand particularly well. but it's disconverting because if way that they're analyzing their political situation is different than the way we would want to analyze and understand. so the downside for us, we have to go in with a lot of humility in terms of what can we understand. and while there's some in washington i think that are coming to that realization, there are implications of the fact that we have a difficulty
8:54 am
understanding what's going on, the political environment in afghanistan. one of those is that we're easily manipulated by various factions. and i think that's important to understand just sort of going forward is that a lot of our partners -- and we need to partner with these folks and we have to. and it's the only way forward. but we are easily manipulated by them and we've got to understand that. host: you've met with some afghan government officials. what type of people did you meet with and how do they characterize the political situation there? host: well guest: well, i met with former officials. and i think that there was a certain amount of optimism, a certain amount of pride in some of the programs that have been conducted like the national solidarity program which creates sort of like local councils for the distribution of development aid. and there are some of them that, i talked to one man he said very interesting thing. the look, the u.s. comes in and they use the sort of rureric of
8:55 am
iraq as a model for what's going on in afghanistan. the nonprofits, the ngos come in and they use their experience in east teamor or the balkans. and nobody on the outside really sort of understands afghanistan on its own terms. we in the afghan government, we've got our faults but at least we understand afghanistan on its own terms and are able to -- host: did he explain what those terms are? guest: yes. but i think it's really difficult to explain it in this sort of cultural depth that you need to, because we're talking about personal relationships in localities. i mean, on the one hand i think, i was in kabul my entire trip and that's an important caveat, because afghanistan is not really afghanistan. right? when we talk about the insurgency in afghanistan and the sort of what needs to happen in afghanistan, we're talking about tens if not hundreds or thousands of sort of local environments that have to be sort of resolved at the conflict
8:56 am
locally and then wone into a larger national fabric and that's really difficult. it's hard to say this is what's happening in afghanistan. even if you look at the statistics of violence. can dahar is almost a no go zone. it's a very dangerous city. in kabul, you can drive around and go out to dinner and there's risk involved but it's possible to do those things. and so i think it's important for americans to understand that not all of afghanistan is falling apart. there are major parts of the country where commerce is going fine, where there is sort of a warlord style leadership but at least it's leadership. and you can walk the streets relatively safely. and then other parts of the country where that's completely impossible. host: here's the u.s. times this morning. looking at the afghanistan area. it says the election here, an exercise in nation building from the ground up is part of a pilot program to set up 100 district
8:57 am
councils to provide representative government in places where government has largely been absent. but the councils backed by the british and american governments also represent a critical element of counter insurgency strategy. if they succeed, the hope is they will convince people that there is a viable alternative to taliban rule. since the beginning of the year, 35 such councils have begun work in nine provinces and the american and british government have pledged financing. host: and guest: and this is what i mean. there are a lot of good ideas. and this is one of them. these are the sorts of programs that we need to be doing. and if we're going to be successful it's going to be because of the programs like this one. the problem is, is that you can't just create a forum for local leaders to come and discuss and sort of generate solutions. there has to be infrastructure in place to actually act on those recommendations. right? and it can't just be american or
8:58 am
sort of coalition supplied infrastructure. you have to build afghan infrastructure so if there's a problem, the afghan government can respond to it or these regional councils can respond to it. meaning that independently they can go out and build a bridge or a hospital or resolve a land dispute or something like this. and right now, i'm not confident that they can do that in enough places where they're really going to be able to seize control and control the country. host: we're talking about what's next in afghanistan. start dialing in now. phone numbers will be on your screen. i wanted to show the viewers and you two things. few tilt in afghanistan. talking about an nco fires off a round of illumination. talking about soldiers there who are asking for certain things, certain permission to mortar fire, et cetera, to help them when they are engaging in fire.
8:59 am
but they are being denied these different types of meckyisms because of civilian concerns hitting civilions. that's george will's piece talking about that shufplt there's another story in the "new york times." u.n. sees more violence by afghan insurgents. so while civilian casualties are going down by the u.s., the average assassination, there is an average of an assassination a day, a suicide bombing every second or third day. insurgents have depreatly increased. guest: violence has definitely increased. but that's important to look at but it's not the most important metric. even general mcchrystalal who has this very sort of population centric counter insurgency plan acknowledges that violence is going to increase at least in the short term. that's part of the u.s. operational model now is an expectation that vile sns going to go up in the short run.
9:00 am
and i think that's true. and we're pushing troops out into more and more locations trying to control territories so that the afghan government can take charge. and there's going to be more violence when that occurs. the question is whether or not afghan that violence occurs, whether this surge in violence is followed by a surge in governance that is led by the afghan government. and i just -- that may be possible, but i think that we've got a lot of hurdles to get over. you've got to grow that from the bottom up. you've got to create these sort of local councils. and at the same time, you've got to build sort of a national super structure within the afghan government that can weave all of those councils into something larger so that the locals feel comfortable saying we have a viable alternative. that when the americans leaf and the coalition leaves, this central afghan government will be able to support us. because they know that the taliban aren't going to go away. they're not going to sail home.
9:01 am
the afghans know, they know the pakistanis are going to be there, the iranians are going to be there, the indians, the chinese, they know the taliban will be there. the one group that they know won't necessarily be there is us, is the coalition. and when you think in sort of an afghan timeline where which is very dynamic and very long, even though we have the ability to project a lot of power and authority in the short run, these are folks that are thinking about the long run. and it's very difficult unless we can build up and establish an affling government than will there just as long as everyone else, you can understand why folks, local afghans are understandably wary about sort of throwing in their lot when they know that the taliban will be there. . .
9:02 am
caller: we don't learn from history. in the revolutionary war, the patriots were insurgents. you cannot go into the country and put in the leader you want and expect all the people to be robots and obey. guest: i think it is a valid point. you mentioned putting in a leader we want and i think -- i am not sure exactly that is what
9:03 am
is happening in afghanistan. their concerns in the u.s. government over hamid karzai now. it is fair to say that the afghan government does not have a lot credibility with some segments of the afghan people because of the way he was elected where there was clearly a lot of fraud and ultimately it was questionable whether hamid karzai got the most votes. the fact that there was a lot of fraud in the elections after they were promised democracy -- even if hamid karzai did win, he is still playing by the old rules and does not necessarily believe in democracy. >> host: indiana on our democratic line, good morning. caller: the caller was right
9:04 am
that in 1979, you had a working relationship with the shah of iran "was overthrown by the ayatollah khamenei. the relationship with the u.s. was that we tried to plan and have our guy in there. when the president first called this the good war, i wrote him a letter and i told him no, this is not a war we should be involved in. 1108 u.s. deaths, that is a complete tragedy. that is the reason why you will never ever get to your objective in the middle list is because of the bureaucracy and corruption. these people will always view people from the u.s. and a negative way and that will be
9:05 am
the overriding factor. you cannot take a country that is that -- drastically different than ours and superimpose our beliefs and systems of what we think afghanistan and the middle east should be like. these things have been going on since the united states was even created as a government. that headline is the right -- youth -- futility in afghanistan -- it will never bear the future in the end. i see these troops getting killed and more money being pumped in from the american taxpayers. they need to cut their losses and do not worry about their pride in the world stage. host: the post also has the number of u.s. military debts since 2003 in iraq at 4410. guest: the debt of the u.s.
9:06 am
troops in afghanistan is a terrible tragedy. --the deaths of the u.s. troops in afghanistan is a terrible tragedy. my former students are 21 and 24. they sent me these e-mails and they are passionate. it is of hard to think about them. whenever you think of your former students as hardened soldiers, you think of them as your students and you feel protected. it is hard to me to think of the risk they are taking. there are a couple of reasons why i think the war in afghanistan was the right decision. i think we forget there was a threat from al-qaida 10 years ago. that is where 9/11 emanated
9:07 am
from. the problem with the rationale i just explained is that al-qaida right now is mostly in pakistan. there is a real problem in washington that we face where we talk a lot about afghanistan and we talked quite a bit about what should we do there and which of the strategy be, but we don't connect that enough with what is happening across the border in pakistan. that is a real problem because that is where orchitis is now. -- that is where al-qaida is now. that is not to suggest we should go into pakistan but we need to understand that our primary effort in that part of the robins to be a diplomatic effort in pakistan in order to get the pakistani government to crack down on these al-qaida and backup -- al-qaida-affiliated groups along the afghan border. i don't know that we do that enough or talk about that enough
9:08 am
in washington. that is because there are no u.s. troops in pakistan. host: the peace in "the washington post" -- guest: we were making an argument that everyone uses afpac and my colleagues and i were joking and said we need to call that pacaf.
9:09 am
this is one of these unset purposes of the president's surge in afghanistan was to reassert the afghanis that we were committed to afghanistan in order to encourage them to take on their own demons that they created, these militant groups in pakistan, that are operating along the border. i don't know that that is working, frankly. one of my colleagues recently reported from india that the indians believe that the pakistan is are basically playing us and do not believe that we will stay and that is why the pakistanis help us with one hand and support the taliban with the other. host: republican line, good morning. caller: i am a vietnam veteran in 1968 and 1969. i saw a lot of guys get killed over there. my son was killed in iraq when
9:10 am
the liberated kuwait. i don't understand why we don't protect our own borders and secure our own borders to protect this country sooner than go to other countries and tried to secure their borders. guest: first of all, especially on father's day, i want to say thank you for your sacrifice. i personally appreciate it and i know the country does as well. the point that to make that we need to be careful about restricting foreign adventurism is valid. as we talk about afghanistan, ww are no longer in a position in the u.s. where we can isolate it as a foreign-policy issue. we operate in an ra of constrained resources where we have a deficit and social problems at home and the reality is that we have to make hard choices.
9:11 am
we do not have the luxury of being the 800-pound gorilla involved in an economy that is so dynamic we can do anything we want. it is a well-placed concerned that we need to be thinking about the trade off we are making in terms of where we want to invest our resources, abroad or at home. that is what ultimately the president's decision making is so much more complex than what we hear from our military leaders. general petraeus and a gentleman crystal are the best people we could have on this problem. the range of issues that they have to confront as they think of afghanistan and the middle east at large, they are more narrow than what the president has to think about when he thinks of the tradeoffs in terms of where we want to invest those resources abroad or at home or
9:12 am
save the money and reduce the deficit. that is not a question that our generals have to confront even though there are dynamic problems that they are thinking about. host: this is from an e-mail from new hampshire. she says most americans are unclear about the end game in afghanistan. the article talks about what is being put out there. afghanistan would need to build more roads, highways, and pipelines.
9:13 am
there will be roads thattconnect to india and so forth. this would make afghanistan a hub rather than a barrier parted the article talks about how china and russia are already investing in afghanistan despite the war and despite insurgency and violence. china is looking at $1 -- excuse me, there was talk last week that the u.s. estimates that afghanistan could possess more than $1 trillion in natural resources. the chinese want to invest $3 billion in the country. guest: the afghanistan's neighbors are going to try to find ways to exploit the opportunities there. the issue in my mind is that when the chinese got the bid for this coppermine, there were questions about whether they
9:14 am
were bribing officials. they are playing a cutthroat game. everyone else will play eighth cut through a game in afghanistan and yet, we come in and say we don't want to be cutthroats. . we tried to create a system that was more regularized where there was something closer to what we would understand as a functional government rather than this motley arrangement. the countries around afghanistan are willing to play those games. host: they have a better understanding of politics and afghanistan guest: they are more willing to get their hands dirty. they are elbow deep in getting their hands dirty. the russians and chinese will play the same game.
9:15 am
this notion of $1 trillion in mineral deposits is great but there are reports that say it takes 20 years for a mind to become profitable. a country that goes in there has to make a long-term investment. we have to do more to demonstrate that afghanistan will be secure before we see really large-scale investments to take that risk. a country like china can invest in afghanistan because it is not that far from its border. they have a road that goes to the border. it is functional but it washes out every year in the winter. the infrastructure is sort of their already. to take a $3 billion coppermine and expand that to 8 $3 trillion industry, that is a big jump. host: woodbridge, virginia, go ahead.
9:16 am
caller: i was just going to talk about the minerals and lithium is one of the biggest deposits they have there. i think we need to revamp the idea that afghanistan needs our help and support in becoming an independent country and build up their infrastructure, but it will take serious business for long-term investment to bring this about. you have all those other countries that have a vested interest to boost their country at the expense of the afghan people. host: china would be investing, iran would be investing, you see that as a geopolitical concerns for afghanistan as opposed to have private sector coming in there and putting their money in so it becomes more like a trading halt rather than a trade
9:17 am
barrier? caller: that is where i see the problem. china does not honor human- rights rules. they violate them. they are becoming grossly what -- wealthy but they do not share with their own people. the government and their people are two separate entities, not one. guest: i agree, but i think it is hard to criticize many of these governments. they are playing by the roles of the jungle in places like afghanistan because there is corruption and they are looking out for themselves. they said they are not going to try to change those rules. they will do what they can in their best interest. what we said is that we would try to change the rules.
9:18 am
it is a misnomer that afghanistan has not had a functioning government. they need a government that control -- that can control the entire area including the mountainous region. we come in and we said, to our credit, that is a wonderful thing to do -- to create a function of government and create an environment where there is less fighting and less violence. that is a very difficult chore. achieving that is potentially beyond what we can do. host: bloomington, indiana, independent line. caller: people have been somewhat misled in america. at first, the presidential campaign, we had john mckay on
9:19 am
what side saying that we had a 100-year commitment in afghanistan and obama said we were going to pull our troops out of afghanistan in so many months. when he got into office, that changed. part of this was the reason why he changed. i think they knew there were as some kind of natural resources from the beginning. the people thought we were fighting terrorism but i think it was about resources. guest: i think that is an interesting point but i think york and flooding the situation in iraq and afghanistan. -- i think you are, fleeting the situation in iraq and afghanistan. --conflating the situation in that correct -- in iraq and afghanistan. i don't think that is what motivated the bush administration. that is where al-qaida was
9:20 am
based. that is where the 9/11 attacks or organize. it makes more sense and a place like iraq. during the presidential campaign, obama the candidate said we are getting out of iraq and we will refocus on the good war in afghanistan. that is what he did. honestly, i think president obama has been relatively straightforward on afghanistan. what i think he will do over the next 12 months or so is lay out more clearly some of the hard choices and sacrifices and what it is costing in terms of lives and everything else and he has to see whether he thinks we can wind up in a good place. you can make that argument both directions because the operational concept that our military leaders in afghanistan have is a good one. whether or not it works on a time when that is reasonable in
9:21 am
terms of lives and money and political capital is a very different issue. host: georgia, frank, on the republican line. caller: our soldiers went over there to train older troops of the there. we have been over there a lot of training their troops to defend themselves. we can train the whole country. the problem is our leaders need to be over there training their government. deceptive -- is up to the president, white house, congress to give them an education. host: is that happening? guest: these things are happening. we have training to improve police accountability and how to
9:22 am
distribute money fairly and accurately. it is worth remembering that you could have a different guest on ithis show talking about other issues. the idea that we will eliminate corruption is a misnomer. we can do better than we are pariae. it is worth having some humility about what we can achieve. no government is perfect to take a situation where there are 30- 40 year olds to fill out the forms and that kind of stuff. those are people in afghanistan who have never known a functional government. there is an older generation in afghanistan that has known a
9:23 am
functional government but the people my age have not. the people my age are doing the months -- nuts and bolts of governing anywhere in the world. when you think about how you will bring those people up and educate them so they can work within the bureaucracy and political structure, it is very difficult. +g&= i think that part of what u. strategy needs to be right now is convincing the taliban -- right now, i don't think -- one
9:24 am
problem is that there are many different taliban groups. they are quite different and we have to think about them differently. the most influential -- they are not in the al-qaida camp for the want to wage unending war. the won control and power and want to rule by a religious law that most americans would find terrible, but these are people that have cut deals in the past and this is not outside the bounds of negotiation. the problem is that they feel they don't have to negotiate because they feel they are winning. they fill the afghan government is not standing up in the united states is getting frustrated and they watch shows like this and understand that every caller has
9:25 am
been against the war. they are aware of these things and they feel they are winning. one thing that we need to do as part of our core strategy is convinced the taliban that we can walk away and still deny them victory, and still find an afghan government that may be imperfect, but can't deny the taliban victory. we have to get that across because we have to convince the taliban that the need to negotiate. host: how do you do that? guest: it is very difficult. we need to develop core institutions that our trust worthy, elite units that are well paid that are showered with non =peiuniary office.
9:26 am
we need to create elite units that will provide leadership for the rest of the bureaucracy. we need to say that we can walk away and provide these folks money and deny the taliban victory. when the soviet union left afghanistan, the government that they left behind did not collapse immediately. it took another three or four years. there were funding the residual afghan government with $4 billion per year in $1,990. that is a lot of money. that is $10 billion today. government was able to withstand the government -- the taliban and not fall. that was until the russian government stopped providing money. it is probable to prop of governments that can fight back. it is terrible to take that line
9:27 am
and say that as they need to learn from but the reality is we need to learn from those things. we're not in a position where we can get our maximum situation. we have to think of the sub- maximal options. host: independent line, good morning. caller: i remember a meeting a young paul brankly when he was introduced into the pentagon and i look at him and i look at you and these are our forefathers hundreds of years ago went against all adversity and put everything at risk with our youngest and brightest and that is where i see the hope. look at what he did in iraq. look at what he accomplished in terms of finding jobs and believing in industry. this is the guy who worked with
9:28 am
these bureaucracies. all these minerals were discovered. i believe he had something to do with that. there is hope and we have to look to those folks who can make this change and we need to support them. it might not be the most bureaucratic way to go about doing things. there are people making it happen. i hope history gives him a place in our history books because it tells you what one man can do. host: what is your background? guest: i work on capitol hill for lynn woolsey and i spent time at west point teaching. i was a research fellow at the combating terrorism department.
9:29 am
it was a great place. it was a pleasure and honor for me as a civilian to be in that environment you cannot help but fall in love with the place and fall in love with cadets who are great and crazy and the ways you want them to be. they made this choice when they were 17 or 18 years old of not going of the military but going through four years at west point and take leadership roles. much of the time we put those kids on a pedestal, but what i think is the best about them is they are like everybody else. they are normal college kids in so many ways. they had -- they made this choice that has put responsibilities on them that i did not have to deal with in college or in my first job after college. my former students, their first
9:30 am
job in college is leading a platoon in afghanistan or iraq. that is something we need to honor but not because they are extraordinarily special but because they made this commitment. i think we lose that a lot of the time where we forget. what many americans do that have a deep connection with the military. i did not before i started down this path i think what we forget a lot of the times, is that the people over there who are wearing the night vision goggles and helmets and kevlar, they are like everyone else. that is a pretty amazing and beautiful thing on some level. as a country, i think we need to remember that more and i don't think we do. host: 1 last fall call for you from st. louis, missouri, on the democrats' line.
9:31 am
caller: i am so glad when you are on c-span in the morning, greta. i am proud you are a strong supporter of obama. host: that is not as true at all. we balance out this program. some days we may lead to the right or left but we have voices from all sides. it has nothing to do with when i am on. i do not make decisions about that. do you have a question? caller: i wanted to commend the a man who went to teach at west point. those bent at west point are not just like the rest of us. those men are honorable and chose to serve and did not come about -- and did not cop out, thank you. host: 90 very much for joining yes. do you have plans to go back to
9:32 am
afghanistan? >> not right away. host: were you in iraq? guest: yes, i was there for research. we did academic work with information that was declassified. we did a study of the influence from iraq. it was very interesting. afghanistan was using the same influence on the terrorist groups as iraq was pretty chose the continuity of history. host: brian fishman is with the new america foundation now. thank you for being here. when we come back, we will talk
9:33 am
to cary severino who is with a group that opposes the appointment of elena kagan to the supreme court. >> topics will include the white house and congressional agenda is, iran and afghanistan and the midterm elections. the guest on "meet the press" include the mississippi republican governor, mary landrieu, massachusetts democratic governor ed markey, kenneth feinberg, the independent administrator of the bp escrow fund and a former shell oil president. on abc's "this week," jake
9:34 am
tapper will talk with rahm emanuel. on "face the nation, got you will hear a louisiana congressman and senator richard shelby. you'll hear the florida democratic senator and the california democrat barbara boxer. on cnn's they will have dianne feinstein and the alaska and senator and a connecticut independent joseph lieberman. you can listen to all five of the sunday morning talk show starting at noon eastern on cspan radio on90.1 fm. we are on the web at cspan radio.org and you can follows on facebook or twitter.
9:35 am
>> he was a volatile, emotional, very complicated kind of the press of young man. he was very adventuress. when he was in america, he was 25. >> take a new look at alexis de top fell and his 1831 tour of america. abroad -- alexis de tocqueville and his 1831 tour america. fcc commissioner robert mcdowell talks about the use of public airwaves for emergency airwaves sunday night on c-span 2. tonight, vietnam veteran on the novel that took in 30 years to publish. "matt terhorn" follows the veterans of bravo company.
9:36 am
we will have the author of more than 20 books for children. get our entire weekend schedule at book-tv.org. >> "washington journal"continue this. host: we have a policy director for the judicial crisis director to talk about the election of l.a. neck taken to the supreme court. the hearings will start --elena kagan. the hearings will start july 8. talk about why you are opposing her. a clear opposed or in favor oft- position. the big problem here is that elena kagan is a blank slate.
9:37 am
she has never been a federal judge or a state judge. she has very limited practical experience before she became solicitor general last year perry should never argued in cases in court. she had experience in the clinton administration doing policy work at most of her life has been spent in academia. that is a very political environment. deans were the great scholars of the academic world but in today's world, they are more fund-raisers. thissis a concern to think about her judicial philosophy and how she will be able to switch from a mode of policy- making to a position of a judge
9:38 am
where you need to look a lot first. you will need to come to a fair result instead of thinking what you would vote for if you were a politician. host: there are hundreds of e- mails dating back when she was part of the administration. what is in those e-mails and can they tell you something about her judicial philosophy? guest: there is every little about her judicial philosophy. she has been studious to avoid taking a position on legal issues. she was placed as a solid and committed liberal which is no surprise. president obama wants to appoint a liberal wing -- particularly when he is pushing so much legislation through. he wants someone to support the
9:39 am
legislation. there will be the health care bill, stimulus packages, who knows what will happen with cap and trade. it is not surprising that she comes at this from a liberal perspective. we have also seen where she is a strong supporter of roe vs. wade and she is pro-choice and she is anti-gun. she is very hostile toward the end are a permit -- toward thenra. she wanted to enforce some of the gun controls in order to get points against the nra. host: is your group in favor of having a liberal on the courts? guest: it doesn't matter. we want someone who will faithfully applied the constitution and laws of the united states. if someone goes out by law from a neutral perspective, it should
9:40 am
matter what their political views are. host: there is a concern in your view that she was a critic of the nra? guest: this is troubling only because she does not have a judicial history. she has been a politician and effectively for so long that one has to think how she can suddenly switch her entire perspective and have a neutral approach to the law. host: the judicial crisis network used to be called the judicial constitution network. how long have you been around? guest: we have expanded our mission somewhat. we don't look just at confirmations but also at state races. it is a broader view of judicial issues. with the supreme court, a lot of
9:41 am
our focus is on elena kagan. host: which way did the group go when president bush nominated harriet miers. guest: we did not get involved there. we look at qualified nominees. i would argue that she did not have the qualifications necessary. she is the most similar type of experience to elena kagan. at least atmiers had -- at least carry it to miers -- at least harriet miers had courtroom experience. host: the republicans in the senate led by jeff sessions have
9:42 am
talked about her not allowing military on the harvard campus and she treated them like second-class citizens. guest: that is the one case in a career of being careful about what she said. choose nominated to the d.c. circuit and that did not go through. after that, she learns to -- not to say many things. she gave her opinion on that issue. she thought that the military " don't ask, don't tell" policy -- she had been forced to allow the military recruits on campus. she allowed them on campus but then decided she would use the excuse of a different circuit
9:43 am
that did not become final because it was appealed to the supreme court. she kicked the military off campus again. the law had not been changed and she did not have the right to do that. host: is that reason alone and not to confirm her? guest: there are not many points to work with here. someone with a long experience career might ot stand out completely. that really illustrates a serious problem with her view of the law, that she sees it as more -- of this providing political coverage. that is what we see in our decisions. they are more of a political maneuvering than a legal underpinning.
9:44 am
host: let's get to phone calls. houston, texas, on the democratic line, we're talking about the nomination theelena kagan. caller: when you watch a financial market channel, they have disclaimers about the people and whether they own stock it would be interesting to know like quincy spend as people on who they are funded by and whether they are a citizen of the united states. they say war is peace and ignored his strength and those kinds of things are ringing true. i get the feeling that every time people watch c-span they see their emanuel gold steam and they are raging against it.
9:45 am
isn't elena kagan on the side of the torture of memos? she sounds like president obama's harriet miers, almost. guest: she is a political insider in many ways and someone the president can be -- can trust. most of us don't know what she is about. that does reflect what harriet miers' position was. i don't think elena kagan had anything to do with torture memos.
9:46 am
9:47 am
host: would you say you are funded by conservatives or leftists? guest: i am not privy to that information. our philosophy is one that should be equally applicable to conservatives or illegal -- or liberals. when you see someone who has a dual approach, you see them taking positions that do not live up with republicans or democrats party lines. the philosophy of taking a position pro the constitution sometimes makes them a liberal.
9:48 am
in overturning or of holding loss that they might differ with, they were in favor of the matter called marijuana case because there is an issue of federalism that goes to the constitutional philosophy, not just a conservative policy. host: the republican line, go ahead. caller: i have read different articles in the last week because they are getting ready for the hearings. what elena kagan said about the national rifle association bothers me. that is a basic extreme liberal position on the second amendment. she is more liberal than sonia sotomayor. colleges prevented the rotc from
9:49 am
being on their campus because there is anti-military feelings. this over-concerned of having the military when the military in this country has fought to keep us free. she should never be confirmed and anybody who votes for her especially blanche lincoln if she were to vote, she will go down anyway, but it will assure me not voting for her. host: coming up, we sat down with senator patrick leahy who is the lead on the committee. i want to show you a little bit about what he said on that criticism. about her stance on the military. let's take a look. >> jeff sessions has doubts about elena kagan's position
9:50 am
about days. she said she was being hypocritical by criticizing gays but not accepting members from the royal family for an islamic center. what do you make of that? >> it was not a law school that accepted money from the saudis. if i was on the board of harvard i am not sure i would be that eager to except saudi money. i am interested in having studies of islamic life. that is a good discussion to happen this country. i think that is a bit of a stretch for her. there were questions about recruiting. everyone has talked about that. in my mind, that is the tempest in teapot.
9:51 am
the military were able to recruit on the harvard campus all the time. this is when she was the dean. host: what do you think? guest: there are a couple of things that the senator said that were misconstrued. there were recruiters that were not allowed on the campus but were not kicked off the campus. they have an official system where they allow all the groups on campus to recruit. the military was an excluded from that. the only way students could express interest in or obtain interviews with military recruits was through the student veteran association. they were forced to take this on. they only had an e-mail address. there was a document released by the apartment of defense regarding this and they pointed
9:52 am
out that in the 12 years prior to the university being forced to open its doors to military recruiters, they had 9 acres. in the 16 months they were not allowed to recruit, they had four recruits. having campus access through the school makes a difference. elena kagan was not only does allowing them, she was actively encouraging students to protest the military presence. this was not someone showing an even-handed application. host: the independent line is next. caller: i am a real independence. t. i have been listening to this young lady. she keeps saying she does not
9:53 am
know to the questions you ask her. with elena kagan, if that's all you have, go for it. number two is she will get confirmed. i cannot wait for the 2010 elections to be over with. host: what about the political reality that someday she will be confirmed? guest: that certainly looks like the case. there are 59 democratic votes and you only need 50. it is likely she will be confirmed but it does not change the constitutional moment we are in. this is someone we are confirming who will have a lifetime seat on the highest court in the nation. she is replacing justice stevens who was in the court for 34 years. she will be on the court for
9:54 am
decades. she will be the youngest member of the court and she is on for a life term. should we give her a pass? we have here is coming up the traditionally in the past have been very uninformative. elena kagan wrote an article in 1995 called these hearings a farce and sure raid. -- a farce and sure rod. charade. you want to know what the philosophy of a future justice will be. if we are going to rubber-stamp anyone the president wants to pick because they graduate from in my school, that seems like a very cavalier way of choosing one of the nine justices on the highest court in the land. even if she is confirmed, all the more reason to make a real
9:55 am
process and have a real discussion about judicial philosophy. let the centers of votes. this is a chance for a whole nation to think about these issues. host: senator leahy addressed the question about what she wrote about as far as the confirmation hearings and whether or not -- and what the purpose of them are. that is -- that interview was coming up at 10:00 at 10:00 at am. host: democratic line, good morning. caller: i think we have enough of far right judges. i think the democrats are entitled to a justice. host: the seats on the supreme court are not reserved for any one group. guest: each seed is its own seat
9:56 am
and we need to make sure that regardless of the person's philosophy and personal voting presences that they will properly assigned block. the law. we are not looking to fill is particular spot for a quota on the court. host: next caller. caller: i wanted to clarify that it was my understanding that elena kagan did not take military off campus. she allowed them on there. i heard interviews from generals and individuals within the military and they felt she was very respectful. guest: as i mentioned before, she allowed students to facilitate the process.
9:57 am
that is not the same thing as the power of the harvard law school that affected students with this. she was very nice to people but this is a typical thing for her. where is she when the rubber hits of the roads? the road. she is a very political person social knows how to make the right friends. she added the three conservatives to our group. everyone remembers her for hiring these people off the bat when she worked with clinton. she makes friends, but my question is how good is she at schmoozing people and making friends with individuals but really where it is our policy down the line? and she is on the supreme court,
9:58 am
it does not matter who are friends are but what her vote is. host: independent line next. caller: you have not been good about stating who your supporters are. it is clearview are coming from the right. your name used to be the judicial confirmation network when the bush nominees are coming up and now all the sudden, you are the judicial crisis network with the obama nominees. the real giveaway is that the people on the right always want to say that they honor the liberal constitution. that is all about guest: another debate -- that is a whole another debate. guest: the philosophy does not
9:59 am
need to be the same. if you look at justice souter retired last year and spoke at harvard law school -- actually at harvard university commencement, he did not say he was following the line of the constitution. he said the constitution is an inconsistent document and we have to pick and choose which parts we follow. that is not the philosophy of a strict constructionist. we have competing values with the constitution. this is because the founders who wrote the constitution felt they were riding it to help balance things and not write an internally consistent document. now that justice souter has spoken on this, we can see that his philosophy was not looking at the text of the constitution. host: let's get in one last

102 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on